The Gahanna Community School is closing in name only at the end of this school year in an effort to save the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District about $85,000 annually.
The school board on April 10 approved a resolution to allow a re-conversion of the program from a community school to an internal district program.
“The program will remain intact; it just will no longer be a separate charter school,” said Michael Straughter, district spokesman. “The program will remain in place. They will still be at the existing location and under 200 students. Instead of it running as a separate school district, it’s a program within the high school. It’s a fiscal-based decision.”
District treasurer Julio Valladares told ThisWeek the school would cease its operations as a separate entity at the end of this fiscal year July 1 and will continue its operations as normal in fiscal year 2014.
“The reason for this change is primarily fiscally and then to avoid complexity,” Valladares said. “Fiscally, the saving represents about $85,000 per year or $425,000 over five years.”
Valladares said the savings would be realized by not having to audit costs for annual financial reports and annual state audits. A contract for fiscal services also will be eliminated, he said.
The board for the community school will be eliminated, saving money for meeting payments, he said.
Valladares said the change would allow the district to regain Educational Service Center of Central Ohio funding that allocates $6.50 per pupil.
“Community schools don’t get this additional funding from ESC,” he said.
As for complexity, Valladares said, the district eliminates having to submit two Education Management Information System reports and two five-year forecasts and the need to maintain two student management systems.
“Fiscally and internally, it makes sense to move this direction, but we will continue the program as is so that we continue to provide individualized attention to students and provide alternative instruction deliverance,” Valladares said.